Looking beyond: a study of blogging and what it tells us about occupations Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Rege, Sumita
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
  • The growing ubiquity of the Internet has changed the way we conduct many of our meaningful activities, occupations, today. Despite the changes in technology, human needs haven't changed as radically, we still need connection, involvement, information and avenues of expression, but what has changed are the myriad ways in which we do those things. Blogging is an emergent transformative internet-mediated occupation that is used for all of these purposes and has become popular over the last two decades. As an occupational scientist I continue to be fascinated by the almost viral nature of blogging and the consequences it has on other occupations we do. This exploratory ethnography using an occupational science perspective sought to understand the practice of blogging which is being constructed and transmitted within an essentially social setting. The participants in the study were a diverse group of 34 individuals, including Americans and Indians residing in U.S. and India. All participants engaged in general everyday activities of blogging in various capacities as bloggers, readers or commenters. Participant observation, long-term immersion, document analysis, individual and group interviews were techniques employed to gather data over a period of 15 months. Data were analyzed using multiple iterative methods and inductive coding. The findings of this ethnography challenged many taken-for-granted assumptions in occupational science including the understanding that occupations exist in isolation as discrete acts. Three major findings discussed in the dissertation include: fluidity of occupations, participation in occupations and serendipity of change and creativity. Concepts from the occupational science literature such as co-occupation and participation are problematized and further theoretical solutions are offered using transactional perspectives to occupation. It is suggested that rather than a dichotomous view of technology and individuals as interacting with each other, these should be viewed as co-determining, co-constitutive forces of occupations. Implications and future directions for Occupational Science research are discussed in terms of internet-mediated activities.
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  • In Copyright
  • Humphry, Ruth
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2013

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